Tag Archives: Eurosynergy

Pinching myself at Eurosynergy!!!!

There’s a momentary lull in wedding preparation* and I am going to use it to do a couple of posts reflecting on the incredible Eurosynergy experience.  And not hope to capture the excitement of it!!

Attachment-1In the 90’s, when I was discovering polymer, my bible was The New Clay by Nan Roche. I was particularly enamoured with a photo of work by Kathleen Dustin. Polymer odalisques connected to become an amazing necklace. In those pre internet days, the few rare books about polymer that one could find in Australia were highly treasured.  The photos of what people were doing with this amazing material were beacons of possibility. I even made my own version of an odalisque which still hangs on my mum and dad’s wall, learning so much on the way (primarily that it was VERY hard to do and that this woman Kathleen was a genius!!) To actually meet Kathleen Dustin in Malta was wonderful. That she commented on one of the necklaces I wore  BLEW MY TINYIMG_2545 MIND!!!! (And it wasn’t only Sona’s that she liked!!) Here is me with three polymer goddesses: Tracy Holmes, Kathleen and Bettina Welker. I am trying to look vaguely calm.

And this, for me, was a huge part of the joy of Eurosynergy. I met SO MANY of my heroes. And found so many more!!!  The overwhelming sense of generosity, sharing, delight in creativity and possibility was infectious. Artists from 29 nations united by a passion. A passion that was not just for an artistic medium but about the importance of creating.  In many of the workshops and seminars, people spoke about creating being as essential as breathing.  These were people after my own heart!!!

I almost leapt out of my chair and hugged Ronna Sarvas Weltman when she reflected that making her art was about celebrating life. It was about joy and sharing.

I did a lot of holding myself back from leaping out of chairs.

IMG_2503In her clothes, in her art, in her teaching Lindly Haunani, brimming with generosity, celebrated colour, the beauty in food. Angela Garrod was alive with the spirit of gleefulIMG_2540 investigation, again, shared with excitement, generosity and joy.  Here is Angela (R) with the amazing Connie Brockstedt (middle) and help me, I am hopeless with names, two of the gorgeous German artists. Melanie West buzzed with her enthusiasm about nature as a source of inspiration, experimentation as a source of growth.  In this photo with DSCN5017Kopila and Melanie, there was no point trying to look calm. The face says it all: Can you believe I am really here?!!!! (I am wearing the necklace KD touched. Had to pop that in!)

That’s enough for now but there will be more Eurosynergy reminiscing. I am doing a few posts (rather than the traditional bombardment of information) using the the wonders of scheduled posting. Back to the bride.  Bride and groom toppers need reskewering.

*PS: I must say that a pregnant bride-to-be is a very chilled out version of a B-T-B! People suggested that Bridezilla would emerge but even days before the event, BTB is calm, relaxed, happy, and aware that her wedding day is a happy day vs the happiest day of her life. Thank goodness.

An authentic and colourful life….Katwise

It’s hot here now.  When I was struggling to learn Nepali in the early days*, I got confused between pasina ayo (I’m sweating-lit. sweat came) and asina ayo (snow came). Now I remember P for perspiration and P for pasina and boy, oh boy….pasina ayo!  I realise this may be too much information here but I am not telling you the half of it.  I could go into details about my eye…but I won’t. No selfies though.

images-2Instead of doing Samunnat’s Eurosynergy activities (an inventory and preparing our presentation) I did some …research (sounds so much better than browsing online!). Productive procrastination.  Mum encouraged it. You can always blame the mother.  I found the website of Kat O’Sullivan who describes herself as a free spirited girl who makes funny patchwork coats out of old sweaters.

She is magnificent**!  Kat lives in a wonderfully colourful house and travels the world, often in a images-4psychedelic bus.  In her blog she talks about a lot of things relating to creativity…the value of not following every whim; of working with constraints.  She discovered how much style and whimsy you can spin on your business. I am looking forward to that!

house_079She makes some fabulous observations about copying.  People began to blatantly copy her and she felt very vulnerable. A friend talked to her about weaving her art into the narrative of her life.  Her sweaters ceased to be just objects to wear and became little fragments of her charmed lifeauthentic manifestations of her whimsical world…souvenirs of this whole crazy life …[she has] been gifted with.  She realised that her work was imbued with her magic- unique to her.  She realised that by sharing more of her world, the sweaters became like bouquets from her garden. What a fabulous metaphor.  I connected with this because I consciously try to imbue everything I make with a kind of generous, positive energy.  We know that at Samunnat too, what we make is part of a much bigger and profoundly special story.

Infused through it all was her commitment to authenticity and living and creating wholeheartedly.  She writes:

I never take myself too seriously – and I think that keeps my work flowing freelyimages-5 and my expression genuine. A lot of times when people are trying to make art a living they end up trying to meet others expectations, or getting so self-reflective that they lose perspective. I think I have a healthy sense of humor and detachment about what I do and the ability to embrace my many shortcomings as an artist. It is my hope that when people look at what I do they can feel that it came from a genuine place. I want the intentions I put into things to resonate with people, so they aren’t just buying an object, but a little chunk of happy energy.

Brighten your day by reading about Kat.  She would LOVE it here at Birtamod where a riot of colour is almost a mundane everyday event!

*I eventually stopped struggling- my still pathetic Nepali is a source of great amusement here!  I am pretty exceptional with colour, food and jewellery related terms and almost useless in daily conversation!  I can tell you when I am sweating though.

**She even answers emails! All photos and quotes used with kind and personally emailed permission. Howzat!?